MARTIN SKRTEL admits he faces a fight to regain his place in the Liverpool team.
The 28-year-old defender is currently sidelined with a thigh problem but had found himself out of favour at Anfield before the injury struck.
Skrtel says being on the substitutes’ bench is hard to stomach but he is determined to return to full fitness and prove himself to manager Brendan Rodgers.
The Slovakian centre-half says he has no desire to leave Liverpool and is ready to work his way back into the boss’ plans.
“The coach has his ideas about the line-up and the question is if I would be in it if I was fit?” Skrtel is reported as saying.
“I would say it’s likelier I wouldn’t. The most important thing for me is to recover as soon as possible and resume training.
“When I was healthy, I was training with the team, giving 100% and doing all I could to prove to the coach that I belonged in the starting 11.
“I was waiting for a chance, one then came in St Petersburg, but then I was not playing again. However, now I’m injured and we’ll see what happens when I’m back fit.”
He added: “I have come across such views that it would not be correct to consider leaving a club where you have been on the bench in four or five fixtures. On the other hand, it is hard to put up with it.
“For the present it is valid that I am at Liverpool where I have a long-term contract and I am not thinking about leaving.”
Skrtel first lost his place after the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United in January at Old Trafford.
“Before that match we had won twice 3-0 in the league – at QPR and at home we beat Sunderland,” he said.
“In Manchester we lost 2-1 but I think that particularly in the second half we played very well. “But he (Rodgers) told me we had lost the organisation of play in the defensive line and that this would be the reason why I would not play in the following matches.”